Beagle Robbie wants the British record to himself
12:00 14 December 2012
Newham and Essex Beagle Robbie Grabarz bundled a whole career’s worth of highlights into one whirlwind season this year, but the high-jumper insists he is still only just getting started in the sport.
And he will get the chance to further enhance his reputation after signing up for the new 2013 British Indoor Athletics Series.
Grabarz will compete in the same team as world pole vault bronze medallist Holly Bleasdale and long jump bronze medallist Shara Procter at the five-team events, which begin in Glasgow on January 26 and go on to Birmingham on February 16.
At the age of 25 Grabarz already boasts an Olympic bronze medal, a European gold medal and a Diamond League crown in a glittering CV.
The fact that all three of those titles, while also becoming the joint British record holder, occurred in 2012 is made all the more remarkable when you consider that in 2011 Grabarz lost his Olympic funding.
Those doubts seem miles away now, but rather than rest on his laurels he insists he has his sights set on many new targets.
“The year I had last year with the Olympics and everything else mean that now I start every competition as a marked man,” said Grabarz.
“But to be quite honest no-one is going to put more pressure on me than I am already putting on myself.
“I’m far from the finished article and we have been working hard on my technique, just ironing out the kinks and minor errors.
“It’s quite an odd position to be in because to be quite honest I’m not even at the middle stage of my career, there is a lot more I want to accomplish.
“I’ve already got a European gold and an Olympic bronze, but motivation is not going to be a problem, I just have to push forwards from here.
“A jump of 2.38m was the gold medal winning jump in London, I know I have got that in my locker.
“The competition is strong, but without one jumper who is miles clear of the field, at every event there are three or four of us who are going to be in with a shout.
“The world championships in Moscow are obviously going to be the big one for me this year, Ivan Ukhov came to London and stole my gold so now it’s my chance to go into his backyard and try and take it back.”
Grabarz’s personal best currently stands at 2.37m, a British record along with the retired Steve Smith who jumped the height way back in 1992.
But Grabarz is hoping to claim the record outright: “You have to concentrate hard and I know that nothing this season is going to come easy,” he added.
“My personal best at the moment is 2.37m and I am desperate to get to 2.40 this year, that’s the big target for me.
“I know that if I can jump that height then I am going to be in the mix for the big titles.
“I currently share the British record with Steve Smith, but I want to have the record on my own so that is something I am thinking about.”
■ The Aviva and Daily Telegraph School Sport Matters Awards recognise outstanding achievements in school sport across the country, and are part of Aviva’s wider commitment to support the next generation of British sporting talent.